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Is a Criminal Conviction the Final Word?

If you’ve been arrested for a crime, you likely know how confusing it can be. From the moment you are stopped until you receive your day in court, you are likely to experience a wide range of emotions. However, nothing is more frightening than the moment a judge or jury convicts you as guilty of committing a crime.

Many people assume that this is the end of the road — but that’s not necessarily true. Criminal courts do not often retry cases, but a defendant has the opportunity to appeal from the sentence and request a new trial.

The appeals process

If a person does file an appeal, it is a different process than the original trial. Few appeals are granted based on insufficient evidence. Instead, trial errors more often result in a new trial.

For example, a defendant might argue that certain evidence should not have been admitted or that the jury instructions were improper. The point of an appeal is generally related to the process rather than the facts of the case.

When defendants seek an appeal, there is a steep burden of proof. Whereas defendants enter their original trials with the presumption of innocence, this burden shifts in an appeal. It is the convicted defendant who must prove that the trial was improper and mishandled, and that he or she deserves a new trial. It is a tough standard, but defendants and their attorneys are successful at it all the time.

If you’re facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania, or need to appeal a previous conviction, turn to experienced criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman today.

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